Quahog Pearl

by T.J.
(New Jersey)

Quahog Pearl

Quahog Pearl

My family and I recently built a summer home in southern NJ. I was raised in the area and spent many summers fishing, clamming, lobstering, and diving. As such it was our first choice in location.

About 3 times a year, my family and I (wife and children) take a Jetski trip to a back bay area of Barnegat Bay Lighthouse. There are a number of clamming grounds in the area, however the best areas are well protected secrets amongst the locals. It personally took my small group of friends and I years to find the most productive and diverse (raw, steamers, stuffers, chowder...often commercially called little necks, cherrystone, tops necks, etc. size) grounds. For cumulatively 20 summers, my friends and I have plucked 1000s of clams from the bay. Not once had we ever found a pearl, until this week. As mentioned, my wife actually made the discovery. I keenly remember her finding an odd shaped clam and thinking whether it was "good" to eat.

After shucking dozens of clams for chowder that evening, I came across the odd clam my wife found. Rather than just shuck and chuck, I performed and internal inspection (to make sure it was "good"). And that's when I found it! Instantly I knew it was a pearl, but was amazed by it size, color, and in my mind a perfect shape (for jewelery). I also knew at that point I may want to make it into something special and then went in search of information.

I have a few questions.

I measured the peak at around 14mm and weighs around 3 grams / 15 carats. What are your thoughts on quality, rarity, and relative value. Is this something you would be interested in buying or selling on our behalf. Could you recommend a jeweler who works with pearls if we think its valuable enough to make a piece. Any other thoughts are appreciated, along with your time.

I hope you enjoy the pictures.


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Sep 25, 2022
Such a lovely quahog pearl
by: Kari

Hello TJ,

Thanks for sharing your find. Since you've shucked so many quahog pearls and only just now found one, confirms the rarity of these amazing pearls.

Yours is an amazing size and although the photos are small, it looks like it has a wonderful color too.

Check out some I've listed here: Quahog Pearls for Sale to get an idea of value.

I'd love to discuss your pearl with you. You may contact me here. I've also sent you an email.

Thanks again for sharing and congrats on finding a natural USA treasure! Kari

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